Google Maps for Android got a slight remake this week, with a couple handy new features on board. It still looks and functions basically the same as the Google Maps you know and potentially love, but Google has smartly integrated some Street View features directly into the navigation view. When you ask the app for directions, you can swipe up from the bottom of the screen to see the all the turn-by-turn steps as before. But now each step is accompanied by a Street View image of that exact turn.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because Google added it to the web version of Maps many year ago, in 2008 in fact (as Android Police notes). Tapping on the Street View image opens it up full-screen, properly facing the direction you’re going on the route. Most people are probably happy enough with the info provided by the turn-by-turn navigation, but if you’re the type to get a little lost these images might help you prepare for the route.
The default view when you pop open the Google Maps app has changed a bit, as well. Now, the bottom third or so of the screen contains info relevant to the time of day and your location, like local lunch spots. Google’s had this location-specific info in Maps for a long time now; they’re just surfacing it in a more obvious way here. These changes should all be available in Google Maps for Android now, but they haven’t rolled out to the iOS app just yet. Given how Google is keen on keeping its apps in parity, these new features will likely hit the iPhone before long.
Anyone with a cracked iPhone screen knows what a pain it is to go through Apple to get it repaired. You have to make a Genius Bar appointment, which may or may not still require you to wait around for a service technician. Then it could be hours before you get your precious back into your possession. Or, you could use one of the repair kiosks found in nearly every mall in the United States and be back in business in about 45 minutes.
The problem is that kiosk and other repair shops like it might be running afoul of the law. Apple doesn’t have an “authorized repair” model for its iOS devices. The iPhone maker isn’t alone in this. Other electronics manufacturers only offer repairs via their own stores or workshops. This means individuals and small companies don’t have access to official parts or manuals. So they either have to scavenge what they need from broken devices or purchase them from grey markets and that’s how they get in trouble using counterfeit parts.
To keep small businesses out of trouble and to allow end users the opportunity to actually fix the things they buy, Motherboard reports that five states (Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota,Massachusetts and New York) have introduced “right to repair” bills. It would give shops the ability to buy the parts they need and get access to official manuals from manufacturers. and it’s not just tiny computers you put in your pocket, the bills also would affect large appliances and tractors.
So while most of us won’t be ripping apart electronics on our own any time soon, these bills will make it easier to get our devices fixed by third-party vendors. Even the kiosk folks.
If you were busy at work yesterday and couldn’t watch Apple’s iPhone 7 stream unfold live, you can fix that. As is tradition, the Cupertino company has uploaded the whole shebang to YouTube so you can relive seeing Shigeru Miyamoto introduce Super Mario Run, VP of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller saying that removing the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 took “courage” and Sia’s end-of-show performance depressing the hell out of (almost) everyone. Don’t have two hours? Well, you could always watch our 15 minute version.